Pair rescued after distress flare spotted out at sea

Two men were rescued after a distress flare was spotted by a member of the public.

An off-duty Police officer spotted a red distress flare off King Edward’s Bay, Tynemouth, at 12.45pm today (Thursday) which appeared to have been fired by the occupants of a small vessel drifting approximately 400m from shore.

Tynemouth RNLI inshore lifeboat, with a volunteer crew of two, launched and sped to the scene, quickly spotting two casualties on board a small water craft which were by then under observation by members of the shore-based Tynemouth Volunteer Life Brigade.

The two men were taken onto the lifeboat and checked over, and then taken back to Cullercoats harbour with the small water craft in tow.

Once the casualties and the craft were safely on the beach the lifeboat returned to station.

Adrian Don, spokesman for Tynemouth RNLI lifeboat, said: “The off-duty police officer reacted immediately to seeing the distress flare which led to the Coastguard tasking Tynemouth RNLI lifeboat just a few seconds later.

“The volunteer lifeboat crew reached the casualties just seven minutes after the alarm was raised but if they hadn’t been seen their situation could have been much worse.”